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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Kathleen Sebelius 14, Us 12, Massachusetts 10, U.s. 8, Romney 6, New York 6, Washington 6, Asap 5, Sebelius 5, Cnn 5, Jim Acosta 4, Michele Bachmann 4, Newt Gingrich 3, John Fleming 3, Google 3, America 3, Obama 3, Joe Biden 3, Subaru 3, Boston 3,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    October 30, 2013
    2:00 - 3:30pm PDT  

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runs. but that's up to her. >> thank you so much for your time. i know i pushed it. >> so unusual. >> thank you, sir. that's it for the lead. i'll be back in d.c. tomorrow. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. happening now, the president takes responsibility for obama care shortcomings in the same place where the successful massachusetts health care law got its start. but he says romney care also had a pretty rocky beginning. health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius finally takes her turn in the hot seat, grilled for hours about the obama care website. >> you deserve better. i apologize. i'm accountable for you for fixing these problems. >> and the national security agency pushing back against allegations that it penetrated google and yahoo! data centers
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while european you're pea a eur against u.s. claims that everybody spies. you're in the situation room. sebelius got a drilling today. president obama got out of town. he just gave a spirited defense of his health care law this boston where former rival mitt romney signed a very similar and successful massachusetts law less than a decade ago. our chief congressional correspondent dana bash is standing by on capitol hill, but let's begin our coverage with our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. the president said he's responsible for obama care's flaws, but he also said that romney care also had a slow start. >> reporter: that's right. as you said, the president traveled up to boston to make those comparisons between his health care plan and mitt romney's health care plan. he was talking about the bumpy rollout. there were some bumps, but not as many in romney care.
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but there was another mission for the president today and that was to do some damage control acknowledging some of the website problems that have plagued obama care in recent weeks and he made mention of that pretty early on in his remarks. >> there is no denying it, right now the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. and i'm not happy about it. neither are a lot of americans who need health care and they're trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible. so there is no excuse for it. and i take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed asap. we are working overtime to improve it every day. every day. >> the president also made mention of the fact that in the early stages of the rollout of romney care up in massachusetts, that only 123 people signed up
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in that first month and that that fwru grew into thousands a tens of thousands. but of course that is different with obama care. all of this did not go over well with the former massachusetts governor who released a statement blasting the president's event today. let's put it up on screen. in one part of the statement, mitt romney says had president obama actually learned the lessons, millions would not lose the insurance they were promised they would keep, millions more would not see their premiums sky rocket and the install lafgs the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment. strong words given the fact the president was essentially giving him a shout out today. one other thing we should mention is that the president did try to offer an explanation. the president did that really acknowledge the fact checks out there w
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there, but he did offer a defense of the words by saying that the people who are getting the cancellation letters now will be able it buy coverage under obama care, something he said those folks may not have been able to do in the past. >> jim acosta a, thank you. kathleen sebelius apologized today for what she called the miserably from ustrating rollou. kathleen sebelius apologized today for what she called the miserably frustrating rollout.,. kathleen sebelius apologized today for what she called the miserably frustrating rollout. >> i'm as frustrated at nip with the flawed launch of healthcare.gov. so let me say directly to these americans, you deserve better. i apologize. >> sebelius was grilled for 3 1/2 hours, sometimes relentlessly by members of the house panel. republican lawmakers raised serious concerns about the website's security and privacy even as users grappled with another outage. let's go to dana bash. she seemed pretty contrite i think.
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>> reporter: absolutely. and that was her local gowhole . she said over and over in her words this debacle was her responsibility. she acknowledged the testing beforehand was inadequate. and she told the president it was okay. she said she was wrong. and it's important to note the website actually was down as she was talking which is something several republicans pointed out during the hearing. but she also didn't give an inch on the sort of broader questions about changing or delaying the law. even democrats are asking her to extend the enrollment dead line which is march 31st. she said absolutely flatly no. or even to delay the fee that people will have to pay if they don't get this mandatory health care. again, she said no. >> beyond the problems of the website, a lot of people are still being dropped from the plans that they had even though the president said if they liked their plans, they could keep their plans. that came up today, as well.
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>> reporter: and republicans have been saying privately that their strategy is to get beyond the web sesite because they bele ultimately it will be fixed and to look at the fundamental problems with the law. one is that people are being dropped from their existing plans. something the president promised wasn't going to happen during the campaign and before the law became law. and republicans came armed with constituent horror stories. here is one example. >> what do you say to mark and lucinda in my sdrirdistrict whoa plan, they liked it, but it is being terminateded and now they do not have health insurance. >> insurance companies cancel individual policies year in and year out. they are a one year contract with individuals. they are not life time plans, they are not an employer plan. >> let me move on. i will remind you, some people like to drive a ford, not a ferrari.
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and some people like to dripping out of a red red solo cup, no at crystal stem. you're taking away their choice. >> reporter: you sort of saw there secretary sebelius struggled trying to explain why people are being dropped from their plans. eventually explained that it's because there are new requirements for benefits under this new law that weren't there before and aren't are some of the plans. requirements that give better benefits, consumer protections and people conditions an't be l. and it fell on some of the democrats eager to explain this to talk about the fact that this is the way the marketplace works and even though people might have higher priced plans now, they might not ultimately. >> insurance companies are canceling lousy policies with high prices because they can't compete. and that what happens. we don't have a government controlled system.
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we have private markets. >> reporter: you heard a lot of testimonies trying to talk about the benefits of the obama care law, talk about the fact that women are treated the same as men which they weren't always before, things like that. but clearly they understand that that is being overshadowed. not just by the website problems, but by fear that people's current plans are being dropped and they're not able to get new plans because they can't get on the website or phone to get a new plan. >> clearly the frustration continues. thank you. up next, obama care exchanges are seeing relatively modest enrollment for private insurance, but there is a big surge in medicaid signups for the poor. why that could be a significant problem to the whole program. and kathleen sebelius apologizing for the obama care website problem, but is that enough. we'll have a debate. when we made our commitment to the gulf, bp had two big goals:
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america's health care crisis centers around the billions of up insured. while just a trickle supposedly have signed up, the floodgates are wide, wide open for the medicaid recipients. and that could potentially pose a significant problem for the entire program. tom foreman is here to explain. what's going on? >> this is early in the process. but the goal of the obama care
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plan from the beginning has been to start to reduce this number, this number right here 47 million uninsured legal adults in this country don't have health insurance. in theory, this goal is reached by getting most of them to buy in a three year term private insurance through the health care exchanges. about 22 million insured you through the exchanges if everything goes right and by getting about 12 million covered through medicaid which is of course the health care program for poor people. they're the targets three years from now. 22 million through exchanges, 12 million covered through medicaid. 15 states, and we'll show you here the map, have decided to opt out of the medicaid buy-in because they're arguing it will cost taxpayers too much money over time to pay for that coverage for those people. but what's happening is raising eyebrows about the whole process. some people are signing up for
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the free health insurance through medicaid much faster than people are buying insurance through the exchanges. in washington for example, 35,000 people have enrolled for coverage. but of that number, 87% of them are coming in through medicaid. in kentucky over here, 26,000 people have signed up. new especially rollees. 82% of those have come in through medicaid. and in new york, 37,000 have signed up, 64% through medicaid. they want much more robust numbers in terms of the other enrollment. and if that doesn't pick up steam, then we could see real economic challenges to obama care. >> federal government releasing very little information on the enrollment numbers. we didn't really know until mid november when we'll get the real numbers? >> that's when we'll figure out whether it will continue. and in all truth it's unlikely
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that the trend will continue at this rate. number one, it is early. of course if people really need a service and you make it free, they will jump at the chance. whereas when people have to pay for it, they will take a little bit longer to think about that, they will probably delay that commitment. we've seen it in many different types of programs. number two, it's early. the numbers we have so far are just too sketchy. we don't have a whole lot of data to work with yet. and number three, it's early. this is a very early part of this process. it's important to watch the numbers. if this keeps playing out, then you have a real problem. that's why people are paying attention. but right now it's just one of the artifacts of the system that people are saying what if. >> tom foreman, thanks very much. we're also hearing that the white house is trying to put pressure on the health insurance industry to keep silent about ongoing problems with bobama
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care. drew griffin has been digging into this part of the story. >> what we're hearing is that behind the crescenes if an insurance executive says anything negative about the obama care rollout, they or more likely their bosses are to get a call from inside the white house asking them to explain the comments. it's being perceived as pressure to keep quiet. sources within the industry are telling me and my colleagues that there is a reluctance to speak out because of these phone calls. jay carney at the white house says the allegation is preposterous and inaccurate, but one insurance insider willing to go on the record, major consultant for the health insurance industry and critic of obama care tells cnn that the white house is excerpts massive pressure on the industry, including trade associations to keep quiet. and our sources are confirming to us what he says adding they
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fear retribution from the white house. there is embarrassment about the policies that need to be dropped or canceled due to the obama care regulations. but he also says the industry specifically warned the administration this would be the result if those additional coverage requirements moved forward which they did. >> the white house flatly denying that they are excerpting a exerting any pressure at all, right in. >> yes, according to jay carney, he says it ignores the fact insurance companies are talking about the law because they are trying to reach millions of new customers who will now have new affordable options available. >> drew griffin, thank you. coming up, u.s. government accused of spying on yahoo! and google and now the nsa is
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pushing back. plus dr. sanjay gupta was the last journalist to have an exclusive interview with kathleen sebelius. is her message about obama care better today than it was last week when he sat down with her? sanjay standing by to join us live. #%tia[
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new developments in the scandal over u.s. government spying. also new allegations the ns after the tapped in to yahoo! and google communications which are used by hundreds of millions of people.nd google communicati are used by hundreds of millions of people.the tapped in to yaho google communications which are used by hundreds of millions of people.apped in to yahoo! and g communications which are used by hundreds of millions of people. jim sciutto is working the story for us. the "washington post" reports the nsa infiltrated links to yahoo! and google, servers globally that the agency is using this practice to get around port approved process. you've been investigating. what have you found? >> the story in effect is that they have gone into the communications links between yahoo! and google servers. the reason you would do this is because they are oversea, therefore they would fall outside of the oversight of the
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u.s. government, they can access them without a court approval under the foreign intelligence surveillance act. here is what the nsa said, they said the as shergs that we collect vast quantities of u.s. persons' data from this type of collection is not true. the nsa applies attorney general approved processes to protect the privacy of u.s. persons. notice they say we do not go after u.s. citizens. no mention of foreign citizens. and earlier today the nsa chief said we do not go after servers. he does not mention communications links. so in effect the nsa confirming the essence of the story and you can argue they're doing their job, security interests back here at home. >> there are two european delegations that have come to washington to complain. >> that's right, germans went to the white house, and the eu delegation went to the white house, they had a one on one with the nsa chief alex is andeo
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walked them through the report that the nsa was listening to millions of phone calls and showed them how the report got it wrong. showed then the slide that edward snowden had released and said this is not true. and by and large talking to the members, they found the explanation satisfying. alexander also told them that when the nsa collects data in europe, they do it in collaboration with european intelligence agency. so i said is it hypocritical for you to be krit sicriticizing th when you're participating. >> we want to get to the truth. there are a set of allegations -- >> by americans and europeans? >> whoever it was, whatever partnerships it may have been, whoever it was, we want to get to the truth of it. >> so in effect they're angry at both sides. they're demanding answers from the u.s. and european
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governments to find out why mass surveillance is happening and to what extent. >> you're getting statements from yahoo! and google, right? >> that's right. this is in response to the "washington post" story about accessing communications links between their servers. this is from google, we have long been concerned about the possibility of this kind of snooping which is why we have continued to stepped encryption across more and more google services. so google trying to fight back by encrypting the communications links. and yahoo! is also upset saying that we have for the given access to our data centers to the nsa or any other government agency. so both not happy with this. google forward leaning in that trying to encrypt and fight back. >> all right. thanks very much, jim sciutto reporting. coming up, one democratic congress map saman says republie like chicken little when it comes to obama care. two lawmakers are very different views. plus a little panda makes big news. a milestone for the star of the
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we're just getting this in, but we have been told that the vice president joe biden also is now officially apologizing for all the problems with the obama care website in an interview with hln. the interview is on its way here to the situation room and we'll get you that sound shortly. you'll hear what joe biden had to say. he just spoke to cnn and he is
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apologizi apologizing as so many stories are apologizing with the website. let's continue the conversation on what's going on with obama care. joining us gloria borger, elizabeth cohen, dr. sanjay gupta as well. thanks very much for coming in. gloria, you've spoken to your own sources now and there seems to be a change in tone from the president taking responsibility, sebelius saying that she's accountable, she's apologizing. now the vice president in the interview with hln also apologizing. what's going on? >> contrition. a lot of contrition. today we heard kathleen sebelius call it miserably frustrating. the president -- and she took full responsibility. the president said he takes full responsibility for making sure the website gets fixed asap as he put it. you reported the vice president. so now that they're getting all
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the apologies out of the way, they're also taking an opportunity to step back and try and reexplain what obama care will mean to you and to your family because it's very clear from all the controversy that we've seen about people being forced to change plans, their plans being canceled or killed, that they understand over at the white house that they need to reexplain what this is all about. >> sanjay, all of us remember your interview last week with kathleen a beel krsebelius. i want to play a clip of what she said then and we'll assess how she phrased it today. listen to this. >> yes or no, is there any way that the individual mandate would be delayed? >> well, i don't think that that really is the question right now. >> she was asked similar questions today and there was a difference in nuance, right? >> she's not backing down on this point. she dodged it when i asked her. today she's sort of making the
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case that open enrollment is started, it's happening right now. so there is no signs of delaying the individual mandate. that can't happen essentially is what she said. so still not a firm absolute no, but, yeah, i think a little bit more of a precise answer with reasoning behind it. >> and let me bring elizabeth into the conversation. we remember what the president said back in 2009. >> if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. period. if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan. period. >> period. take today he rephrased it a bit. >> for the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. for the fewer than 5% of americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal. >> what do you think about that
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nuanced twist? >> he modified it. he said health insurance that works. so he means some health insurance policies don't work, they're full of holes. maybe they don't cover maternity care, maybe they don't cover prescription drugs at all. he's saying those don't work, you'll have to get a new one. but here's the important point here. some people who have those policies they love them. because they're cheap. and i was talking to one person who said i know it doesn't cover drugs, but i don't take any prescriptions, so i'm fine, i love how inexpensive it is. so the president has to convince these people that's risky, what if you got sick, you would want prescription drugs covered. he'll have to convince them how faulty, how swiz cheesy those policies are. >> he started doing that today effectively saying what you were buying is a bad product. and what you need to get is a better product because you never no what's going to occur in your
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life. and you have a lot of people saying wait a minute, you shouldn't be telling me that i need to do this. >> it's my decision. >> that's because the administration hasn't explained the concept of a risk pool very well. >> is an sksanjay, i guess it dn the definition of health care plan that works. the president might not think it's working, but some of these folks who pay a minimal amount of money for the plans think it works just fine. >> and that's a very fair point and that's been the genesis of a lot of the criticism. but an important nuance here, some of the clips that you were playing where he was talking about this before were before the law was passed. as a result of the law being passed, there are certain patient protections which now have to be in these plans. your premiums can't go up, you also can't have these caps in terms of how much insurance companies will pay out in any given year or over your lifetime. so those things are now mandatory parts of the plans and
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they will cost more than probably the bar eflt bones plans before. so, yes, you may have enter prescription drug coverage, yes, you may have the odd concept of maternal health protections. even if you're a male. but i think the thing driving up the prices more is actually allowing the patient protections we're talking about. i don't think they have done a great job sprainiexplaining it. >> i was talking to someone and i said if you get cancer, they will cancel you. if you're under obama care, they can't. he said it's worth taking the risk, i'm young and healthy. >> and i'm told he'll be speaking a lot more about this. originally they were going to
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have him speaking to drive traffic to the website. now i think his role is much more explanatory. >> drive traffic to the call centers. >> right. >> thanks very much. kathleen sebelius apologizing for the obama care website problems. is that enough? two congress men standing by to debate. tweet us your questions, #sitroom. and a little boy steals the spotlight from the pope before 100,000 in st. peter's square. you have to see this. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪ ♪ hooking up the country helping business run ♪ ♪ trains! they haul everything, safely and on time. ♪ tracks! they connect the factories built along the lines. and that means jobs, lots of people, making lots and lots of things. let's get your business rolling now, everybody sing. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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let's get to the news that we have here. the apology now from the vice president of the united states, joe biden, for the problems with the obama care website. he just spoke to christi paul from our sister network hln. watch this. >> and we assumed that it was up and ready to run. but the good news is although it's not and we apologize for that, we're confident that by the end of november, it will be and there will still be plenty of time for people to register and get online. >> we apologize for that. let's discuss what's going on with two guests, democratic congress map elliott engel of
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new york and john fleming. earlier we heard from the president and kathleen sebelius. let me play a couple clips. >> so there is no excuse for. and i take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed asap. >> so let me say directly to these americans, you deserve better. i apologize. i'm accountable to you for fixing these problems. >> congressman, so you accept her apology, are you willing to work with her to fix the repair of obama care? >> well, as you know, i've called for her resignation along with 32 other colleagues. i really have to stand by ny th. this could have been prevented. she says she's accountable, but she also points figurers at a lot of the private contractors. it was her responsible to be sure they were in line to begin with. >> but you've worked with
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government contractors. a lot of times they screw it up. >> yes, but she's in charge. the ceo has to make sure it gets done. >> so you still want her out. >> yes. >> what do you say? >> i don't think she should resign. i'm less concerned with her resigning than making obama care work correctly. that's what i care about. >> have you lost confidence in this whole program as a result of the blunders involving the website? >> no. i think the concept of national health care is an important one. we have 48 million americans right now who are uninsured. under the affordable care act, we think that will be cut in half or maybe even more and we all know the good things that we have. you can't be denied insurance for pre-existing condition, your children can stay on your health plan up to 26. lots of good things. i don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. >> and you're a physician, so you like the positive as peppecf obama care, people can't get
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kicked off, they can get health insurance with pre-existing conditions, young people can stay on the parents program until 26. >> i came to washington as a physician to have health care reform. i saw we had problematic system and and wanted to fix it. the problem is that what is the cost of what we're achieving now and the cost is too high. as you know, people are being kicked off of their present insurance and now they will have to pay a lot more for the new obama care. >>. >> what do you say about people not continuing the bar evidee b health sure policies, now they will be forced to get something that meets higher standards but will be more expensive? >> a lot of people it's quite the opposite. many more will get health care in my home state of new york for cheaper rate than they currently get it. we need to make sure that we fix it as best we can.
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but there are always cases that are cited as if it's the norm. items n it's not the norm. there are some people and we have to try to make those people whole, but we think the affordable health care act will allow people to purchase insurance at a cheaper rate. >> unfortunately, in most states, most venues, the rates are going up stratospherically. for men, 100% on average increase. this comes from the manhattan institute. women 62%. and as for universal coverage, never less than 30 million americans will be uncovered, uninsured. and that's in years to come. >> is that true? >> no, use believe i rk, i can'e at all. >> that's what the cbo says. >> what we should have had is frankly the republicans cooperating with the democrats to try to have a bill that would be bipartisan that would move the country forward. but republicans have reject this
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had from day one. and you know it was passed by congress, it was signed by the president, it was upheld by the supreme court. and it was a presidential election run in 2012 on it. it's the law of the land. we need both sides of the aisle to come together to fix it. all major bills like this need some tweaking. and rather than the republicans trying to shut down the government to kill it, they should work with to us try to approve it. >> unfortunately not a single republican supported this bill. remember the president classically said i'll go with any member of congress line by line over the law. we wrote him a number of letters, many of the physicians in the house gop. we had no input into this. items unpopular with the american people and now people are getting a big surprise being thrown off their existing insurance and asked to pay a lot more for the future insurance. >> in new york state, and you're from new york state, there seems to be a pretty good response, but a lot of those people signing up are getting medicaid
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and they're not putting money into the system. they're getting money out of the system in effect. but which is good, they will finally get health insurance, but they're not getting enough young people that are healthy who are yet signing up. >> that's why you have the individual mandate which the program only works if everybody signs up. you have to have young people sign up. >> they can't sign up if the website is not working. >> i won't make any excuses for the websites. that's really inexcusable. but i would say to my friend and colleague here, the reason why republicans have no input is because they chose not to have any input. they voted against it from day one. we would have welcomed bipartisan input. i could have preferred it. >> we applied a number of amendments. they stripped them out. we have a lot of great ideas that are market based, patient centered, and thirp all rejected. >> you'll have to live with it unless there is a new
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at one time. it's not any longer. so you think it will change at some point down the road? guys, let's leave it there. john fleming, thanks very much. elliott engle, thanks to you as well. here's a quick look at the other top stories we're monitoring. four people were taken to the hospital after being hurt in this school bus crash. one had serious injuries. federal officials are investigating a deadly plane crash at the national airport that went unnoticed for almost seven hours, the single-engine cessna went in dense fog, but the control didn't know about it listen. >> approximately 500 feet from the runway 2 center to touchdown. it appears something may be on the right side. >> the pilot was killed and was the only person on board.
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the star of the national zoo's hugely popular panda bear is nearing a milestone. the cub's eyes are almost completely open. she was born in august. zoo keeper saying she weighs almost 8 pounds, almost 2 feet long. lots of frequent flyers opportunity out the airline safety instructions, but here's one safety video that's hard to ignore. ♪ if the cabin pressure is changing ♪ ♪ you know we won't leave you hang ♪ ♪ pull your mask down early ♪ oxygen flowing ♪ place it on your mouth and your note ♪ that's the kind of video that they'll be seeing on virgin american. former contestants from the "so you think you can dance" and "american idol" programs. up next with 100,000 people watching, a little boy steals the spotlight from the pope. coming up at the top of the hour "the situation room" special report. obama care under fire. my customers can shop around--
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(train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. all right. just minutes away our "the situation room" special report, obama care under fire, but first this "impact your world." country singer clint black is known for his signature cowboy hat and his classic sound. ♪ but beyond the music, black is supporting the fight against a disease called rhett's syndrome. >> my niece courtney, my brother kevin's daughter was afflicted with this and lost her battle with it at age 16. >> reporter: the syndrome almost always affects girls, usually diagnosed by 18 months. children can't communicate and require constant care.
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there is no cure -- yet. >> i think the human knee-jerk reaction is to look away, because it's really hard to see, and it's real suffering, but the more i see, the more i see the families and how hard they fight, the more i realize, you know, we can't look away. we have to look. we have to see. >> reporter: black is the ambassador for the foundation. hi efforts help fund research. he says it all comes back to family and the music. >> i'm a songwriter, do i a do a lot of self-examination, soul-searching, so i've always felt inclined to do what i can. as i fight for my own successes, i feel like part of the battle has to be for those things i can help along the way.
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♪ nothing says, "you're my #1 copilot," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone.
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it's not easy to steal the pope's spotlight. jeanne moos shows us who did. >> reporter: the pope was a kid magnet, getting hug, poking noses, giving kisses. with kids perched on the steps. for family day in st. peter's square, but one boy in particular caught not just the pope's eye but the world. he left his seat and came to inspect the pope. even kissed his cross before wandering off to explore the stage, but this 6-year-old kept coming back to play peekaboo. standing alongside, like a papal guard, when the pope stood to speak, a cardinal tried to move the boy along, but he wasn't moving. when pope francis started shaking hands, he tried to break it up and switched tactics, and began to usher others up to peet the pope. the pope sure does a lot of head
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petting, but this kiss ahair towsling was followed by soul of eye contact and later tempted bribery. a security officer tried to lure the boy to leave with candy. he took the candy and stayed. hugging the pope's legs. it turns out the boy was an orphan from colombia, adopted a year ago by the italian couple. mom and dad were separated from the adoption agency kids granted front-row seats. after doing a few neck exercises, the boy made his boldest move yet, taking the seat in the pope's empty chair. this photo was instagramed out with the caption "a special guest with #popefrancis. at some point after he vacated the throne, the pope's shadow finally disappeared from the stage. when the pope himself left later
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in his popemobile, we half expected to see the kid at the wheel. ♪ how many roads must a man walk down ♪ >> reporter: he may not yet be a man, but on this day, he sure was the man. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. happening now, a cnn special report, obama care under fire. the president delivers a fierce new defense of his program with a twist that's infuriating some republicans. his embattled health secretary faces apologies for the obama care website fiasco. stand by for her heated testimony and the questions left unanswered. a warning of a high security risk off obama care website. cnn has obtained a disturbing memo, written only days before the launch. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."
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>> i take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed asap. hold me accountable. i'm responsible. >> they certainly are the faces of the debacle, and both were front and center taking responsibility and promising solutions. we have a team coverage this hour of obama care under fire. first let's go to our senior white house correspondent jim acosta with the very latest. >> reporter: here officials believe the president took ownership of the messups, that they feel like he for the first time addressed this issue of millions of cancellation letters going around, informing people they 345i lose coverage. it was part photo op, part flashback as the president stood in boston's historic faneuil
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hall. why he won caddied the plan's website is not working. >> there's not denying it, right now the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck, and i am not happy about it. i take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed asap. >> reporter: mr. obama argued romney karat wasn't perfect at first, either. >> enrollment was extremely slow. within a month, only about 100 people had signed up. >> reporter: but there are also big differences. former romney aides are disgusted with the comparisons. what do you make of that? >> i think it's pathetic. >> reporter: williams noted romney had the late senator kennedy by his side, a bipartisan achievement that obama failed to match. >> the roll-out went smoothly. president obama has not done a good job managing the process, he's not hired competent people to run the program, and i think
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we're seeing the disastrous results of that. >> reporter: romney also rejected a comparison, saying that had president obama learned the lessons, the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment. but the trip to boston sold another purpose. those consumers receiving cancellation lerz, the president said, can buy insurance under obama care, an option they may not have had before. >> no insurance company will ever be able deny you coverage. those days are over. and that is the truth. >> i just finished talking with a senior white house official who said, again, that the president has complete confidence in health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius at the white house is happy with her performance at the hear on capitol hill, and one thin the senior white house official said, contrasting with some of the circus-like
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atmosphere, quote, the republicans did us a favor up there today. they feel like, in contrast to what happened up on capitol hill, kathleen sebelius came out of their hearing pretty well, wolf. >> jim acosta, thank you. meanwhile, another new defense the the president, this time from the form -- now the mayor of chicago rahm emanuel. my colleague jake tapper sat down with the mayor and asked about the problems with the website and the mistakes that were made. >> do you think it was a mistake for the president to say if you like your health plan, you can keep it. >> i don't think it was a mistake, i think -- you guys covered it then and it related to the employer-based plans this were chore of 65% of people got their health care plans. >> there have been criticisms of him as disengaged t were you -- >> i don't think he is. that is the furthest from the truth about the president. i used to see him every morning, i used to see him every morning,
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three or four times during the day and every evening before we went out. every morning, he had read the material presented to him by everything. he knew going into the meeting what the assumption of the side of the argument was, he knew exactly what questions he wanted, whether on economic policy or any particular foreign policy. so the idea that he would be disengaged, unless something has happened, i've never seen in the two years of intense legitimate i was there, i just don't buy it. kathleen sebelius and her highly anticipated testimony today about obama care, the website and its failures. dana bash has more. >> kathleen sebelius came with a clear sound bite length mea culpa. >> i apologize. i'm accountable to you for fixing these problems. >> reporter: she repeatedly fell on her sword about the operable-plagued obama care
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website. >> i told the president that we were ready to go. clearly i was wrong. >> republicans eagerly pointed out the website wasn't even working during the 3 1/2-hour hearing. >> it's been down the whole time i've been testifying. >> democrats were eager to point out the positive. >> women can no longer be charged more than a man for the same coverage. >> some worried website problems are masking all that and want to be sure it would be fixed by the new november 30th deadline. >> do you have full conformed in this new hard date? >> i know the only way i can restore confidence we get it right, is to get it right. >> reporter: she still flatly -- or delaying a fee americans must pay. a few times her contrition was overshadowed by irritation itches it's great that you're a team player and taking responsibility. it is the president's ultimate responsibility, correct? >> you clearly -- whatever, yes,
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he is the president, he is responsible for government programs. >> obama care confusion reaches beyond the website. insurance companies are drawing people's plans. sebelius struggled to explain why. many of those plans do not have beefed-up coverage required until the new law. >> the policy that they had may not exist, but they have a lot of choices of new policies. >> reporter: republicans called it unfair. >> some people like to drive a ford not a ferrari, and some want to drink out of a red solo cup, not a crystal stem. you're taking away their choice. >> and pointed questions why slice -- >> i am not eligible for the exchange. as i have coverage -- >> you can decide to drop your coverage of the employer. you have the choice to decide not to -- >> no, that is not true, sir. >> now, it is true, she is prohibited from being on an
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exchange, but it's not because she a cabinet secretary or on a federal health plan. it's because she's 65 and a medicare recipient. people who are getting those benefits cannot also enter obama care exchanges. >> dana, thank you have. still ahead, is the obama care website vulnerable to hackers? cnn has obtained an intern memo with a warning. and i'll asked michele bachmann to popped to president obama's demand that his critics need to explain themselves. what you wear to bed is your business. so, if you're sleeping in your contact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit airoptix.com for safety information and a free one-month trial. could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. yep, everybody knows that. well, did you know the ancient pyramids were actually a mistake?
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the vice president also fessing up to the failures of obama care. listen to this, from an exclusive interview he granted christi paul from our sister network hln. >> we were under the impression it was ready to go. we had the president, to his red almost seven weeks out was saying, are we ready?
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he would be told by the pros, yes, it looks like it's ready to go, all in line. neither he or i are technology geeks and we assumed it was up and ready to run. i want more of our "the situation room" report, obama care until fire, right after this.
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so there i was again, explaining my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis to another new stylist. it was a total embarrassment. and not the kind of attention i wanted. so i had a serious talk with my dermatologist about my treatment options. this time, she prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal events, such as infections, lymphoma, or other types of cancer have happened.
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blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure have occurred. before starting humira, your doctor should test you for tb. ask your doctor if you live in or have been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. tell your doctor if you have had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, cough, or sores. you should not start humira if you have any kind of infection. make the most of every moment. ask your dermatologist about humira, today. clearer skin is possible. we're learning more about a disturbing early warning. cnn has obtained an internal memo. tell you about it. >> the memo is an internal memo dated september 27th of this year, less than a week before
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the website went live. it warned the at mrgs of a high secure risk due to a lack of testing and said the agency had a dedicated security team to monitor, conduct weekly scans and conduct full-scale security assessment within three months. the memo did not say what the security concerns were, but we do know as far back as august t. they had been warned that the site could be hacked. kathleen sebelius -- said -- it was ongoing document underscores that the site authority zales operate until all necessary took place.
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sdplee i will be happy to make this available to you. >> the cnn website? >> cnn ran a story that the healthcare.gov website was hacked last week. >> tell us what the report that we posted on our website actually said. >> well, that's not exactly right. we did not report that the site had been hacked. cnn money reported that a software tester from arizona had identified a hole in the website's security system that could allow a hacker to reset your -- and gain access to user account. cnn money said doing it wouldn't have taken a skilled hacker, anyone with bad intentions and minimal understanding of how to read code could have figured it out. it was a theoretical report.
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we also reported that that the glitch is now fixed, wolf. >> we also heard that congressman roger expressed serious doubt. joe johns, reporting for us. we also heard the at the present time defend obama care, saying the roll-out, it reminded everyone, also had some serious problems at the beginning. >> brian todd is comparing both of these programs. what are you seeing? >> the comparisons are not straightforward. much that -- they're did i with did look at some things you can measure in -- and the access patients get to doctors. president obama using massachusetts for the model for his health care like. he contents many more people already covered, but a top
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critic worries about another unfavorable comparison to what happened in massachusetts. >> about 70% of primary care doctors at the time before romney care were set to new patients. that has dropped down to 50%. we're going to see the same problem nationwide's obama care rolls out. >> reporter: that's because doctors get reimbursed less as more patients enroll. an expert who krafd romney and obama plans said the doctors' crunch isn't unique to romney's plans. >> the pressures are farther greater than in massachusetts. >> reporter: he said that obama care will offer incentive to balance that. did the massachusetts plan lower costs for patients? according to government statistics, until roll any's plan, the yearly cost of a premium went up faster than it did in the rest of the condition between 2006 when the plan rolled out and 2012. congressman john fleming predicts this under obama
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care -- >> immediate ratcheting up of price and cost. >> reporter: but supporters of the plan say the rate of growth in massachusetts slowed in recent year. >> over the past three to four years, we have seen a significant reduction in the rate of growth in health insurance premiums in massachusetts, and also around the country. >> but that has not been a steady curve. it's hard to compare rates and enrollment. analysts who have looked at the two plans say there's key differences. in massachusetts, to boil it down, the group of uninsured was smaller and enrollment was done in stages over a longer period of time. brian todd, good report, thank very very much. just ahead michele bachmann and obama care's failures, is she accepted secretary sebeli sebelius's apology. our special coverage continues right at the bottom of the hour, with newt gingrich on the right,
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new poll numbers today on obama care. look at this. the approval is actually edged up slightly since the summer, despite the website's problems that have received so much attention over the past month. the gallup poll shows up three points from august. i'll ask michele bachmann about that and more, right after this.
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and now a republican's remarks. appeared republican representative michele bachmann from minnesota is joins us. thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> you heard the president today. i want you to lynn to one line.
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he might have been refer to you. >> anyone defending the remnants of the old broken system as if it was working for people, anybody who thinks we shouldn't finish the job of making the health care system work for every, especially when these folks offer no plan for the uninsured or underinsured or folks who lose their insurance each year, those folks should have to explain yourself. >> go ahead and explain yourselves. >> it's another false statement. >> what's false? >> he assumes that anyone who is not happy with the current program is somehow 100% defending what we had before. that isn't true at all. we had a whole passel of reforms we wanted in the system. the president wasn't interested. he only wanted the federal government to completely subsume all health care and force every
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american into his version of health care. it was really interesting, wolf, the way the president opened his speech was to praise mitt romney for working with republicans and democrats in massachusetts. that's what so bizarre. the president didn't work with one republican. >> he tried, but the republicans didn't want to work with him. >> he didn't. he didn't get one vote. >> i know he didn't get any votes. >> that tells you the president had one idea for the health care, government ownership, government control and government man dade. we don't want forced programs. we want choice, and freedom for people. >> so this is the law right now, the affordable care act. do you want to try to make it better, to fix it? or just destroy it. >> what i want is the finest pot health care. i they kell have -- >> a lot of people didn't. there were mill yos who had no health care. >> what the president is talking
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about right now is fantasy health care. he promised all americans that you and i would be saving $2500 a year. it's not going to happen. he promised us no tax increases. huge tax increases, in fact the biggest middle-class we've ever seen. he told you if we liked the program, we could keep it. tell that to 16 million americans today, or that the cost was actually going to go down. that didn't happen to jason anderson in my district, who's 31. he and his wife and his 2-year-old baby sought the premium double. >> what about the people who couldn't buy insurance because they had -- and earlier they couldn't buy health insurance. now they can. you would welcome that? >> that was a heartbreaker. that's something where republicans and democrats could have come together "the washington post" said this is a $5 billion problem. you know me, wolf.
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i'm a strong fiscal conservative. i would have wrote out the check for $5 billion every year to pay for the preexisting pool. that's something we could take care of. but we don't have to force over 300 million americans to buy a health insurance policy at a price they can't afford from a website that doesn't work. that's what we don't need in health care. >> presumably that website will work one of these days, sooner rather than later, right? >> the website at some point i think will work. if it doesn't it will be the laughingstock of american, but the biggers problem is a health care system that won't work. i would say what are you, the democrat senators, democrat house members, what are you going to do about the millions of jobs that have been lost, because health insurance premiums have jacked people up so high they could afford the insurance. what will you do about jason anderson in my district who saw his premium double? what will you do about the woman
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who for 37 years paid for the family policy, this year again her premium will go up 2,000 a year and her deductible will triple. she can't afford it. >> there are a lot of other stories, heartbreaking stories as well, where people who had no health insurance, now for the first time if their lives they two have health insurance. >> wolf, even the government says when all is said and done and the government takes over health insurance, 30 million americans will still be without health insurance. >> that's better than 50 million. >> we weren't at 50 -- >> we were pretty close u that's also including illegal al gents. if you ask americans, they don't believe it's the job of a taxpayer to pay for the health insurance subsidy for illegal aliens. >> this new poll, do you approve or disapprove of the law, it's actually improved a bit. august 41% approved, now it's up to 44%. so there's a slight improvement. people are beginning to like it a bit more. >> well, not in my district, they aren't. people are upset about it.
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but again, remember, your viewers, their tox money has been used to spend on tens of millions of advertising to tell america, you love it, you really love it, you know you love this. so we're being forced by our own tax money to be told we love this plan. i will tell you, not at home. not at home they don't. 350e78 love things where somebody else buys their product for them, but again think of -- every american is forced to buy a product, whether they want to or not, at a price most of them can't afford unless the government subsidizes it. again, what we believe is it could be voluntary. if there are people without health insurance, we get that, but make it voluntary. don't force us to buy something we don't want to buy. >> we will continue this conversation. >> very good. michelle backman, thanks for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. you can always follow us what's going on behind the scene. you can always tweet me, and you
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can tweet the show at we wes @cnnsitroom form we'll continue our special coverage tomorrow in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer in warble. "crossfire" with newt gingrich and van joan, starting right now. tonight on "crossfire", what have we learned about obama care? after a day of answers -- >> hold me accountable. >> questions. >> would you commit today, secretary to shut down the system and do an end-to-end security test? >> we're not in kansas anymore. >> and capacity operation. >> who is ultimately responsible? it is the president, correct? >> you clearly -- whatever. on the left, van jones. on the right newt gingrich. in "crossfire", congressman jan schakowsky, who supports obama care, and congressman tim murphy, who opposes